MSC Cruises relocates ships in Spain due to the drop in demand in the Baltic, in addition to the continuity of health restrictions in Asia. The third largest cruise shipping company in the world assures that it is facing an "unprecedented" growth in reservations in our country and for this reason it is focusing on growing in the Spanish market: this summer it has scheduled 400 stopovers, with Barcelona and Valencia as main axes, although it will also run aground in Palma de Mallorca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Malaga and Alicante.
For this, it will be nourished by the MSC Bellissima. A ship with a capacity for nearly 6,000 passengers that will carry out a 7-night itinerary through the Western Mediterranean, with departures from Valencia and Barcelona and stops in Genoa, Livorno and Naples, starting on July 9.
The company, in addition to following its growth strategy in Spain, thus seeks to supply the drop in demand that has occurred on the Baltic routes after the abolition of stopovers in St. Petersburg due to the war.
As this newspaper already anticipated, the most important cruise shipping companies in the world have turned their backs on Russia, thus leaving behind a key port for them, the city of the Tsars, the second where more ships stop in Northern Europe. This was recognized this Wednesday by the general director of MSC Cruises in Spain, Fernando Pacheco, who assures that there has been a transfer of demand to the Mediterranean from "a destination that is usually booked well in advance and this year has not happened like that."
In addition, the delay in the recovery of demand in China due to the Covid Zero policy of the Xi Jinping Government, as well as in the rest of the Asian markets where they continue with strong sanitary restrictions. In fact, the MSC Bellissima was a ship that the shipping company based in Geneva (Switzerland) had located in the Asian market, but that it has finally decided to put in the Mediterranean to put its entire fleet into service and accelerate its post-pandemic recovery. She is not the first shipping company to make this decision.
Costa Cruises also opted a few months ago to relocate the Costa Venezia in Greek and Turkish waters as activity in Asian markets did not resume.
All in all, the company highlights that the reservations made in Spain during the month of May were 144% higher than the same period in 2019. Pacheco explains that the strong rebound is also due to the price adjustment they have made despite suffering a sharp increase in costs. "Spain is going to receive millions of British and German turitas and that is causing prices on the Spanish coast to be higher than what we can offer," said the manager.